Interview: Voon Wong

My best memory is of hot lazy afternoons with my grandmother, listening to cricket songs in the garden. Many an afternoon would be spent with her reading the newspapers aloud and me sitting by her side doodling.
The most life-changing decision I ever made was to live in the UK. My current decision to spend more time in Singapore could potentially be lifechanging as well.
In my absence, Singapore’s physical and emotional landscape has changed. There are only a handful of buildings from my childhood that remain on Orchard Road and a greater sense of worldliness and materialism in the air. I lament the loss of old Singapore. It had frisson and multitextured layers of louche.
The growth of design in Singapore means I have opportunities to contribute to events like the inaugural 100% Design show. It allows me to spend more time here. On a macro level, Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, is the most important person in my life.
On a micro level, it’s my family.
Perfection is a spring day (provided it doesn’t rain) in London, with walks in the park and visits to museums and a street market. When the sun is out in London there is nothing nicer than exploring the city on foot.
At street level, there is so much life and interest which is easily missed if one was in a car, bus or train.
I want to see the world while I am still fit! Trekking to Machu Picchu and spending a night in the Wadi Rum desert are hardly crazy but nonetheless adventurous for me. These places are the stuff of legend and don’t disappoint in terms of their awe-inspiring beauty and magnificence.
My favorite city in the world is Tel Aviv. It’s got sun, sea, architecture, food and beautiful people. And it’s a convincing blend of old and new, east and west.
My favorite color is blue. It’s the color of the sky, sea and infinity.
The greatest motivator is fear of mediocrity.
Awards mean somebody out there likes what we do. We should always be flattered by that and never take them for granted.
I’m attracted to people with a positive attitude to life and a sense of humor. I reckon these attributes can be infectious and it is better to surround myself with good vibes rather than bad.
I went to the same gym as Diana, Princess of Wales. Though I didn’t meet her personally, she was glowing, beautiful and seemed very normal.
If I could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or living, I’d invite Leonardo da Vinci and an interpreter. I would love to pick the brain of the original Renaissance man.
If I weren’t an architect, it would be nice to do something completely different, like dog-walking or gardening.
In a word, I’m grounded.
I live for a yummy plate of chicken rice.